Arttu Merimaa

Time and Space Arts

1983, Pori


Francis Bacon’s Of Simulation and Dissimulation in 3D! (working title)


“DISSIMULATION is but a faint kind of policy, or wisdom; for it asketh a strong wit, and a strong heart, to know when to tell truth, and to do it. Therefore it is the weaker sort of politics, that are the great dissemblers.”


Francis Bacon, Of Simulation and Dissimulation (1625)


As I write this text, I am in the process of making a video work, which includes stereographic images. The essence of the 3D image was defined in the 19th century by the scientist and inventor Charles Wheatstone. His finding was that depth perception is due to our binocular vision. In other words, the eyes register two images from slightly different positions, and the human brain then combines these images and calculates the depth for the visual scene. Therefore, the image transmitted by the eyes is always an amalgamation of several starting points, and, in fact, the diversity of these starting points is a prerequisite for the creation of a realistic picture. I take this visual-technical concept as a metaphor for social discourse. For Bacon, truthfulness and integrity were virtues, whereas dissimulation (concealing the truth or parts of it) was undesirable, as it could be used as a political tool for securing one’s personal interests or those of one’s society. Consequently, truth and lie – like the images perceived by the left and the right eye – are combined into the ultimate reality that is to be scrutinised.